Shooting for a national title |

Shooting for a national title

G. Sean Kelly

Kevin Flohr is following some large footsteps, but the pressure isn’t something that seems to daunt the fourth-grader.

Flohr is a typical soft-spoken 10-year-old. It’s not easy to get him to talk about himself. When he’s shooting the basketball in a gym, don’t bother trying to talk to him at all.

“I’ve never seen anybody as focused as that dude,” Glenwood Springs High School’s newly named head basketball coach Kevin Flohr said of his youngest son, who shares his name. “When it’s game time, he’s ready mentally.”

Kevin – the brother of standout Demon player Sean – earned a trip to the Elks Hoop Shoot National Free Throw Contest after winning the West Central Regional Tournament last month in Denver.

Sean made three trips to the National Hoop Shoot, winning twice.

Kevin is making his first trip as a competitor to Springfield, Mass., on April 24, hoping to match his older brother’s success.

“I’m not really telling him too much,” Sean said. “I just stay out of the way and let him work. I tell him to keep working and stay focused.”

Kevin won the local, district, state and, most recently, the regional championship to advance. At regionals, the Sopris Elementary student sank 24-of-25 free-throw attempts to become one of 72 competitors nationwide to advance to the Nationals. Roughly 3 million boys and girls ages 8-13 have participated in the Hoop Shoot since last fall.

“It’s really hard to get (to Nationals), so it’s amazing Sean got there three times,” said Kevin’s mother, Linda. “(Kevin) saw that and he’s wanting to do the same.”

Kevin’s record for consecutive free throws, according to his father, is 167 straight. His success is the result of repetition and efficiency of motion.

He has been playing basketball as long as he can remember and spends “pretty much every day” across the street from his house shooting baskets in the gym at Sopris Elementary. When the gym is in use, he has a hoop in the driveway.

The regimen has obviously paid off. His shot is silk, particularly considering that some 10-year-olds have trouble getting the ball to the hoop, let alone in the basket.

The key is “doing everything together without jerking and moving too much,” Kevin said.

And if he develops a kink in his stroke during competition?

Like many youngsters who haven’t developed the adult ability to overthink a problem, he has an easy solution.

“It’s happened a couple times at the Hoop Shoots,” Kevin said. “I just think about what I did wrong on the shot I missed, and fix it.”

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